Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The night before

If you ask me, the night before a first-trimester ultrasound is one of the undocumented minor levels of hell.

In my last pregnancy, the entire first trimester was one long stretch of anxiety. I knew I carried double the risk of miscarriage, because I had double the babies, and at that stage, it's too early to feel them move. I had very little morning sickness, and most of my other discernible symptoms could have been produced by the progesterone supplementation.

I relaxed as I began to visibly grow toward the end of the first trimester, and to feel them move early in the second trimester, but for those first six weeks or so after the beta, I worried myself to the point of nausea before each ultrasound, sure that one or both would have died. I got a lot of ultrasounds because of the OHSS, so that was a lot of nausea, but it didn't leave me with long stretches of in-betweenness, and that's a fair trade for a little puking.

Today, I am six weeks pregnant, and my first ultrasound is tomorrow. This time around, I have no clue if the baby's disappeared into a black hole. I have little more than the posts on this blog, and the photo of my pregnancy test (the test itself faded away), to reassure me I'm not just making this all up. I'm not nauseous at all, my breasts aren't sore or bigger, and while I am occasionally tired and hungry, that could just as well be the result of not getting enough sleep or eating a decent lunch. The one symptom I have is moderate cramping, low and always on the left side, and that's not exactly reassuring.

I know the odds are in my favor. I'm young, I have no history of miscarriages or ectopics, and I had three good betas, with appropriate levels and doubling times. I also know that none of that is a guarantee of anything, and I am more than half expecting bad news of some sort. It's irrational, but I can't make the idea go away, that things will not be what we expect. This baby doesn't seem real yet -- it was too easy, no dues paid.

Plus, I'm having real trouble wrapping my mind around the idea of just one baby. The odds of having twins are quite low, just 1 in 300, and in theory, I don't *want* another set. After all, it's all I can do to keep the one set from climbing the bannister/biting sister/wearing their pants on their head/using the dogs as stepstools. Still, I apprehend that I'll feel a small flicker of sadness when we see a single solitary baby -- in my world, babies come in pairs. This is, of course, the greatest hubris, to imagine disappointment over seeing a live and healthy baby, and I fear that I'll be up for karmic retribution.

Two years ago today marks the first time we saw Claire and Katherine's hearts blink into pixellated life. I hope tomorrow's news is as good.


Suz said...

Really, the first trimester is such an anxious time. I wish you much luck with the scan.

Eva said...

I hope the scan goes really well today. I was equally freaked out my entire first trimester, making myself nauseous with anxiety in the rare moments that I wasn't nauseous (why aren't I nauseous? is something wrong?). I hope these early weeks go by quickly and you can enjoy the more secure feel of the 2nd trimester.